Tuesday, September 15, 2009

on the cusp....

There's a common held belief that my son was born with an "old soul." Its the only plausible explanation for his way of being and his accumulated knowledge. He must've known a bunch of stuff before he was born into this present life he thrives in. Though he has similar interests to his peers, if he really likes something, Max learns as much as he can about it. He can't get enough sometimes..... his ever churning brain needs food and then some.

I remember when he was a preschooler and had learned a new concept, he wanted to persistently expand on it until he grabbed onto another one. Geography, for example is an area he continues to stretch his knowledge and understanding. He is truly passionate about the whole area of Social Studies. When he first learned about what a country was, he wanted to know more and more about them......one at a time and would get frustrated if he couldn't get his very young brain around the abstract ideas of what cities, towns, capitals, provinces, states and countries were.

Yes, I remember a particularly frustrating conversation in the car once when his Dad, his sister and I were all trying to help him grasp onto what they were. He was 4 years old I think. It would've been easier to explain Piaget's Developmental milestones to him......to argue that he was only at the concrete reasoning stage and to just hold on until his abstract impermanence stage kicked in in a couple of years! OY! Instead, we bought him a world map poster for his room complete with country flags around the perimeter, a globe which has since worn out and a few atlases to glean information from. Now the smart ass quizzes us on countries I didn't even know existed.

His music tastes run the gamut from The Beatles to Beck. His comedy tastes run the gamut too as we try to introduce him to the subtle nuances of Steve Wright and the hilarity of Ricky Gervais. Will Farrell still rules, but political satirist Rick Mercer is a close second. This is all important stuff in our house.....the house that humour built because my Math fiend, my Social Studies wonk, my music loving amateur guitar picker wants to grow up to be a stand up comedian.

And you know what? Despite being the Mom with a bent and biased view of my beautiful son, I think the kid is one of the funniest people I have ever met. His dry sense of humour, quick wit and ability to memorize anything put in front of him (or heard once) may just be the ingredients to a successful jaunt into the world of laffs. His facebook status profiles are legendary. Even my friends want to be his friend in order to get a laugh every day.

So, today is Max's birthday. 12 years old. Part of me can't believe he's on the cusp of being a teen, though if his up and down temperment swings are any indication, he's there! I seem to be able to handle the swings more than the others because..... well, he reminds me of me. Not that I'm as intelligent as he is by a long shot. I mean with the teen moods. The other thing about his emotions? They also come in handy when he wants to tell his family that he loves them. It's automatic, and openly expressed.... at the end of every phone call .... when he's heading out the door in the morning .... when he decides to pop in on a Saturday afternoon to check in during a basketball game.
Most days, Max seems so much older. The other day, my 12 year old who was sitting in the back of the van blurted out to his Dad and I..... "You know what I'm thinking? I'm wondering if life is a just a dream and when you die, you wake up and realize all that you go through isn't real......"

Silence from us.............. I mean how do you offer up a reply to a statement like that? And how many kids think this philosophically and deeply? Before we could reply, Max shivers out loud.....and says.... "OH my God, that hurts to think about. I'm creeping myself out!"

Old soul..... 12 years old.......... may he always stretch the minds of everyone around him. God, I love hangin' with Max.


Sue said...

Your Max sounds completely and utterly and totally delightful. Happy birthday to him!

Gilly said...

Sounds a wonderful son! Hold on to all that he is now, teen hormones and angst tend to rule until they settle down at 18 or so!

So speaks wisdom from two teenage grandsons, now 17 and 19 and great men. No longer lads, they think their own way through life. Might not be as we want it, but its theirs, not ours!!

And I'm certain Max has a great future in front of him, whatever it is!!

Awareness said...

Sue.... He can come across as very quiet and then turn it on and entertain the troops. No matter where he is or what he's doing, his brain is a ticking away.

Gilly....I've warned him! We've been very lucky with his older sister, so I'm hoping that he will follow in her footsteps with respect to handling the hormones and potential angst. Fingers crossed.

Romany Angel said...

Gee who does Max sound like? Hmmmmm.....I hope he had a great Birthday.